Tag: healthy

Go Veg: Healthy Gut, Smooth Skin, Glossy Hair And Strong Nails

Veronica, Brandon, Coco on beach

The best veggies for a healthy gut, skin, hair, and nails are the same ones in Chef V’s mega-popular Green Drink. And it’s no coincidence that these same veggies are also the best for helping you cleanse and detox. Chef V covers how each of the veggies benefits your beauty.

I created the recipe for Organic Green Drink several years ago back when I was a private chef. Over time, demand grew for my Green Drink and that’s really the catalyst for launching Chef V.

I did a ton of research for the Green Drink recipe. I wanted to select the best veggies that would not only taste amazing cold-blended, but that would also be the best for a 3 day cleanse or 21-day detox. And as it turns out, the seven veggies in Green Drink not only happen to be the best for cleansing and detoxing, they also happen to be the best veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

Now I admit, it would be a pain in the behind to have to chop green kale, black kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, green chard, curly parsley, and green leaf lettuce every day. And then have to juice it. Then clean up.

The main reason why I transitioned from being a private chef to launching Chef V: making healthier easier for people just like you. And it doesn’t get any easier than having a bottle of our certified organic Green Drink delivered to your home.

Not only can you lose weight, gain energy and sleep more soundly by having Green Drink every day, but there’s also a very good chance your skin, hair, and nails will look better.

So let’s take a look at how the ingredients in Green Drink are the healthiest veggies for skin, hair, and nails.

meditate

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Kale

Sure, there’s some excessive kale craziness these days. But for good reason. Kale is rich in vitamin K. And it’s really hard for most people who eat the average American diet to get enough K. Vitamin K actually helps minimize dark circles in your eyes. That’s why it’s one of the best veggies for skin.

In fact, kale can even help tighten your skin. How? Well, one of the reasons why your skin isn’t as tight when you get older is that the aging process weakens your collagen. Collagen is the body’s main structural protein. In fact, over one-third of the thousands and thousands of proteins in the body are collagen proteins. Collagen provides strength to your tendons, ligaments, teeth, nails, hair, bones, gut lining, and much more….

The vitamin C in kale along with the antioxidant, lutein, promotes collagen regrowth and production. In addition, the vitamin A in kale helps prevent damage to the skin. It also repairs and damage to the epidermis.

There’s a good reason why kale has been added to several beauty products. Because it’s such an efficient detoxifying nutrient, kale can help clean your pores. It’s even beneficial for your hair pores. Moreover, kale contains fatty acids such as omega-3s. These fatty acids provide moisture to your hair and skin.

There’s even a nail polish with kale extract. Supposedly, it can help stimulate keratin production. Keratin is the other main protein that’s in your nails.

These facts about kale make it one of the best veggies for skin, hair and nails. So drink your Green Drink and schedule that kale facial!

kale

Best Veggies for Skin, Hair & Nails: Dandelion

Another incredible detoxifying green veggie in our Green Drink is dandelion. Dandelion widens your pores. That’s how it helps your body get rid of toxins. And according to this article, dandelion shrinks wrinkles. It may also help whiten dark spots and reduce fine lines.

Like kale, dandelion also contains lots of beta carotene and vitamin C. It’s also rich in the B vitamins and vitamin E, which is a standard ingredient in many skin care products. Moreover, the minerals and trace minerals in dandelion may actually help regrow hair.

dandelion

Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays.

So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

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Lettuce

One of the main reasons why lettuce is good for your skin is it contains the following three minerals: silica, sulfur and phosphorous. You don’t need a large quantity of these minerals from the foods you eat. That’s why they are called trace minerals. But these three trace minerals are vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Without doubt, you’re not going to get many benefits by eating iceberg lettuce, which is devoid of nutrition. But green leafy lettuce can also protect your skin against harmful UV rays. So now do you see why I selected these six veggies (7 really; Green Drink includes two different types of kale)? Not only are they the best-tasting and most detoxifying, they’re also the best for your skin, hair and nails.

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Electrolytes: Keep Your Levels Optimal

electrolytes

Veronica Wheat, the ‘V’ in Chef V is still obsessed with pickleball. After getting drenched with sweat several times after playing, V realizes the importance of electrolytes. V explains how she not only replenishes electrolytes but also how she fuels her body with them before doing anything that’ll make her lose these precious minerals. 

Electrolytes are not something we usually think about. But when you’re playing pickleball like it’s an Olympic sport in 90-degree weather like I did lately, electrolytes matter.

If you don’t have enough electrolytes—or an imbalance of them—it can lead to serious problems: dizziness, fainting, nausea, muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, tremors and even death.

Some people only know about electrolytes because of high-sugar, artificially-colored and artificially-flavored sports drinks. Obviously, that’s not healthy to drink, ever. But electrolytes aren’t just for serious athletes engaged in sweat-fueled competition.

What Are Electrolytes?

Many people can name some of the most important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. But do you know what electrolytes are and what they do?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t. I needed a refresher on what they do at a deeper level. So I geeked out a bit and read this research on it so you don’t have to. OK, so here’s what they do in simple English.

Electrolytes are essential for basic life functioning. You wouldn’t be able to contract a muscle, or think clearly, or have your heart beat effectively without electrolytes. These minerals are like mini electricians hard at work in your body. You see, we all have trillions of cells in our body. And each cell requires the perfect amount of electricity. Electrolytes send electrical signals that generate and conduct electricity that flows through our nerves and into our muscles. Without enough electrolytes, your heart, brain, muscles and nerves wouldn’t be able to properly function.

In addition, electrolytes regulate fluid balance in our cells. This helps keep us hydrated.

chef v drinks green drink

Which Minerals Are Electrolytes And Where Do They Come From?

All electrolytes are important. But the 3 main ones are sodium, potassium and chloride.

Phosphate, calcium, bicarbonate and magnesium are also important electrolytes. Other minerals like iron, copper and selenium are also considered electrolytes.

Besides taking a sea salt bath, pretty much the only way to get electrolytes is through food and drinks. Yet another reason why diet matters.

Any time you eat or drink something, the electrolytes dissolve in your blood and water. After the minerals dissolve, electrical impulses called ions are created. These ions are to your nerves and muscles what spark plugs are to a car. In other words, they serve as a catalyst. So in essence, electrolytes are the internal body’s spark of life.

electrolytes

Best Food Sources Of Electrolytes

One of the best selling points of a plant-based diet is that it’s rich in electrolytes. Fruits and veggies are hands down the best sources. Green leafy veggies, like the 7 certified-organic ones in the Chef V Green Drink delivery plan are especially high in calcium and potassium.

When you sweat, you mainly lose sodium and potassium. Even though there’s a tiny bit of sodium in Green Drink, I know I need extra if I’m sweating my butt off on the pickleball court or hot yoga.

So what I do BEFORE exercising is I add a teaspoon of Himalayan Sea Salt to my Green Drink. That way, I know that I won’t deplete my sodium and potassium levels. And to make sure they are fully replenished, I’ll have another serving of Green Drink.

Or, if I’m running low on Green Drink or am just in the mood for something else, I’ll make my own healthy, homemade Electrolyte drink.

chef v's homemade gatorade

Chef V’s Electrolyte Orange Drink Recipe

Here’s how I make a healthy alternative to Gatorade and other sugar-filled, artificial sports drinks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup  fresh squeezed orange or mandarin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Method:
Blend in a blender. Serve cold. Keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Chef V’s Halloween Trick: Transforming Treats Into Healthier Alternatives

fruit halloween treats

It’s one thing to wish someone a happy, healthy New Year. But a happy, healthy Halloween? Not with all the added sugars that cause tooth decay and promote metabolic diseases. Not to mention the artificial food colorings that contribute to hyperactivity disorders. But if you’ve got kids—or if you’re a big kid trapped in an adult’s body—thankfully, Veronica the “V” in Chef V has got some tips for celebrating a Halloween, complete with SCARY fruit.

If you’ve been reading my blog over the years, you know I abide by this golden rule of nutrition: eat healthy (meaning whole, unprocessed food) at least 80% of the time. Personally, I’m not perfect when it comes to eating like a saint. Thanks to occasional overpowering cravings for french fries, I do confess to being a food sinner maybe 5-10% of the time.

funny halloween fruit

So I understand that on Halloween, it can be tempting to let your hair down and indulge. What’s the harm in a few mini-size candy bars? The problem is, where does it end? Can you really limit yourself to just one or two bite-size treats?

If so, then get your trick-or-treat on. But maybe you’re somebody who needs to have not only their Halloween cake so to speak but their cake pops, bat-shaped and witch-finger cookies and spiced apple cider. (Depending on the brand or how it’s made, spiced apple cider can have more sugar than soda!)

If that’s you, I have some healthy Halloween suggestions…

pumpkin seed nutritional facts

Balance It Out

So if you are planning on going to a Halloween party and indulging a little bit, do what I do. Anytime I know that I’ll be faced with a food kryptonite, powerless to just say no, I make sure that I feast on healthy things earlier in the day. For example, let’s say that I’m going to a holiday party at night, then for lunch I’ll have a huge salad and maybe an extra serving of Green Drink before I leave.

Eating more veggies (and drinking them) will help alkalize your system, which will help neutralize the effects of the highly-processed food.

pumpkin popsicles

Healthier Snacks

If you do a Google search for healthy Halloween snacks, you could get tricked. Excuse the pun. You see, what I mean by that is that something that always comes up is little boxes of raisins. Are raisins healthier than candy bars? For sure they are. But just one small box contains 25 grams of sugar.

So what are better alternatives?

Get creative and make your own healthy treats. Like these haunted bananas and pumpkin-lookalike tangerines.

Or how about carving spooky apple slices?

apple carving

You can also bake gluten-free, stevia-sweetened pumpkin muffins or offer cinnamon sticks, wild honey sticks and baked pumpkin seeds.

But if you don’t have the time or skills to make these healthy treats, then just fill your jack-o-lantern with whole foods that most kids love, including:

  • Cuties
  • 100% fruit roll ups
  • Low-sugar juice boxes (Honest brand)

Make Pumpkins Healthy Again

One of the healthiest treats you can give or eat is the symbolic image of Halloween: pumpkins. One of the healthiest fruits (yes, pumpkins are technically a fruit), pumpkins have an extremely low glycemic load (3), meaning that it will hardly raise your blood sugar levels.

Plus, pumpkins are packed with carotenoids, which is a type of antioxidant. Carotenoids are one of the most important anti-aging phytonutrients. You’ve probably heard of some specific carotenoids that pumpkin contains, including beta-carotene. There’s also the vision- and eye-health supporting carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

Speaking of beta-carotene, it’s the precursor of Vitamin A and get this, one cup of canned pumpkin contains nearly 800% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. In addition, pumpkin is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and several other vitamins and minerals. And one more fun fact about pumpkins is that they are super high in fiber, which helps things move along if you have constipation.

So consider making a pureed (canned; with BPA-free lining) pumpkin treat for Halloween. To sweeten it without sugar, consider using monk fruit extract or stevia.

And finally, don’t forget to indulge in pumpkin seeds (pepitas), which are also super healthy.

Have a happy, healthy Halloween!

Chef V

Better than Celery Juice for Headaches

headaches and celery juice

A More Affordable And Less Messy Alternative to Celery Juice For Headaches

Some health trends come and go. And some stick around. A couple years after writing about the celery juice bandwagon here and here, it seems like going to the store and stocking up on stalks of fresh celery and making an absolute mess in your kitchen juicing it, shows no signs of slowing down. 

The reason why the celery juice trend is evergreen (no pun intended) is thanks to Anthony William, aka “The Medical Medium,” who I detailed in my article, “Celery Juice Part 1 – Miracle, Hype, or Both?”

The more I’ve read in The Medical Medium’s books, the more I am convinced that he is some sort of natural health savant. And the reason why I wanted to revisit the topic of celery juice is that many people are using it as of late to prevent or cure headaches. And keeping your electrolytes in balance is a better way to keep headaches away.

celery juice and headaches

What Causes Headaches?

You’re not normal if you don’t ever get headaches or migraines. But there’s the thing about these nuisances, which can actually be so intense, they become debilitating conditions…

Headaches and migraines might be common, but they are not normal. If your body is functioning in a state of homeostasis (perfect balance), it’s impossible to get a headache.

The Medical Medium says that there are many causes of headaches. 

That analysis doesn’t exactly make him a genius; almost everybody knows that. 

But there are a few root causes that William offers that your doctor won’t tell you about. Even a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic/alternative/holistic health practitioner may not be familiar with William’s explanations. 

One of the root causes of headaches, according to William, is neurotoxins caused by the shingles virus. Or more accurately, viruses. William claims there are more than 30 types of shingles (who knew?), which itself is caused by inflammation of three nerves in the body: phrenic, vagus, and trigeminal. 

Another reason headaches are a frequent occurrence these days isn’t just because stress has gotten worse. 

William says the reason headaches are common stems from toxic heavy metals in brain cells. Mercury and aluminum impede the brain’s circuitry flow. This inefficient electrical impulse firing causes the brain to heat up, which requires you to use more energy to process information: “How do I use this damn TIVO? Frickin’ A … my head is killing me.” 

Yet another cause of headaches William alludes to is no shocking revelation: dehydration. A lack of oxygen from “dirty blood” causes the liver to become sluggish, William says. Despite the popularity of keto diets, William says that high-fat diets, coupled with a sluggish liver lowers oxygen levels in vital organs such as the brain. 

Can Celery Juice Cure Headaches?

The Medical Medium doesn’t outright say that celery juice is a cure for headaches. If he did say that on his website, he would likely get a warning letter from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). But William—or his attorneys—is expert at dancing around health claims. The Medical Medium website has a disclaimer that’s over 300 words long, or six times longer than the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. 

“Drinking celery juice daily in the way I recommend … is so important for these health problems and so many other chronic illnesses and symptoms for these undiscovered reasons and many more,” William says. Notice he doesn’t say that celery juice can cure headaches or chronic diseases. If he could, he would, but he can’t so he smartly tiptoes around the health claim. 

But you have to be careful drinking celery juice. People tend to go overboard with things, even when it’s something healthy. Drinking a lot of celery juice, some people report, actually may cause headaches. How much is too much celery juice? It’s hard to say, but let’s just say several stalks a day may not keep the doctor away. 

Blending For Headaches

If you’re not stoked about how expensive celery juice has gotten (thanks in big part to The Medical Medium) and how messy it is, there’s a far easier solution. 

The Chef V Organic Green Drink Plan delivers directly to your front door a weekly supply of cold-blended juice, consisting of 7 leafy greens.

Imagine getting your daily dose of antioxidants and not having to go to the supermarket every other day and worrying about using all your produce before it goes bad. And just picture all the time and energy you’ll save by not having to wash your veggies, chop them up, blend them and clean them. 

And don’t get me started about cleaning your juicer after juicing celery! That itself will cause a headache!

Many juice cleanses are just high-sugar fruit juices in disguise. All that fructose spikes your blood sugar. And when your blood sugar levels are all over the place, guess what happens? 

That’s right, you get a headache!

But my Green Drink contains only 3 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per 8 oz. serving. 

So save yourself the headache of juicing celery everyday. Instead of supporting your health with just one veggie, get 7 nutrient-dense greens per serving. 

LEARN MORE

Chef V and kale

This 4th of July, Think About The Freedom To Eat Healthy

veronica in field

The beginning of summer presents us with two holidays that reflect on freedom: Juneteenth, the federal holiday on June 19th that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the US, and of course, the 4th of July. 

Although our nation is far from perfect, we are afforded freedoms that billions of people around the world don’t have. Unfortunately, part of living in a free society means that our choices of what we put in our bodies is heavily dictated by the marketplace. And the marketplace is overwhelmingly filled with highly-processed food, or in other words, junk. 

When only a handful of mega corporations control 99% of the food supply, it can be challenging for some people to find farm-to-fork food that’s grown without potentially-harmful pesticides, herbicides and other synthetic chemicals. 

But you do have the freedom to eat healthy. 

farmers market

You have the freedom to consume organic, green-leafy veggies. If you don’t feel like buying them from the store and chopping them up, you even have the freedom to have organic greens cold-blended and delivered to you in juice form. Out of the 195 countries in the world, you could probably count on one hand the number of countries that offer that kind of freedom and convenience. 

The consolidation of food has led to less choice when it comes to buying the most popular staples like bread and dairy. And in order to maximize profits, giant food conglomerates increase the output of crops, often at the expense of our health. 

Consider the use of the weed killer, glyphosate, which the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer labelled “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. 

Six years later, however, the Environmental Protection Agency still allows the sale and use of glyphosate for crop production. 

The good news is that you have the freedom to eat organic, non-GMO, gluten-free products. 

Every single day, you should maintain a practice of gratitude, especially for having the freedom to eat whatever you want to and how much you want to. Nearly 9 percent of the world’s population is food insecure. That’s roughly 690 million people. And it’s not getting better; worldwide, hunger is on the rise.

But having the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want can of course backfire, with serious health consequences. 

On this 4th of July, think about having the freedom not to eat whatever you want and whenever you want, but having the freedom to eat for gut health. 

A key factor in eating for gut health involves eating sparingly, no more than three times a day. Frequent snacking is a freedom. One that the government shouldn’t try to eliminate. But frequent snacking in my opinion isn’t a freedom, it’s an unnecessary indulgence that can cause a long laundry list of health problems such as SIBO

Thankfully, as of 2018, with passage of the Hemp Farm Act, you now have the freedom in all 50 states to consume cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating chemical in the hemp plant. Long overdue, the Hemp Farm Act removed CBD from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of schedule 1 controlled substances, the same class as LSD, ecstasy and marijuana. 

But did you know you have the freedom to eat foods that activate the body’s internal cannabinoid system? That’s the same system that’s activated by cannabinoids like CBD and THC, the main chemical in marijuana? The internal (or endo-) cannabinoid system helps the body get back to balance. 

smoothie table

All over the world, even in the most repressed societies, people enjoy a stiff adult beverage from time to time. Unfortunately, alcoholism is a worldwide concern, with over 3 million deaths worldwide attributed to alcohol abuse. That’s over 5 percent of all deaths caused by alcohol! But you have the freedom to mocktails instead of cocktails. Just as delicious without the potential for abuse. 

You also have the freedom to drink low-sugar smoothies and shakes

As the saying goes, freedom’s never free. While you may have to pay a little more for healthier food, in the long run, having the freedom to eat healthy is far less expensive than paying out of pocket for medical bills caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices. 

Chef V and kale

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.